House Expresses Fear in US$30M Road Fund Case in Supreme Court

first_imgAssociate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh-Impeachment hangs over Justice Ja’nehOn Tuesday, July 10, during the 44th day sitting, Members of the House of Representatives  expressed profound fear over the US$30m Road Fund Case, which is in the Supreme Court and before his honor Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh.The lawmakers argued that if the Government of Liberia (GoL) loses the case in the Supreme Court, there will be a “budget shortfall.” Also, the GoL will lose US$15 million from the Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC).After about 30 minutes of argument in yesterday’s session, Montserrado County District #5 Representative Thomas Fallah proffered a motion to have the Leadership of the House of Representatives liaise with the Supreme Court ahead of the US$30 million Road Fund hearing.It may be recalled that last year, the  ministries of Finance & Development Planning and Public Works prayed the House of Representatives’ intervention in the unblocking of the National Road Fund in order to allow the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC) to function, use and collect US$30 million from petroleum importers to support the 2017/2018 Budget.In order to contribute to the support of the budget, the IMSC set a US$0.25 road user charge on every gallon of petroleum product brought into the country – and the cumulative sum from these charges is projected to be US$30 million for 2017. Conventionally, the IMSC authorized the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) to collect the fees on behalf of the fund.Unfortunately, in an attempt to collect the charges from petroleum importers, Srimex Oil & Gas sought a stay order on the action from the Supreme Court, arguing that the IMSC is acting in contravention of the law.In a communication to the House, the then Acting Finance Minister Alvin. E. Attah, said: “The Justice in Chambers (Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh) granted the petitioner’s request, staying the action and ordering all parties to return to the status quo…”Minister Attah further said: “In view of this, the Road Fund is stalled. We run the possibility of a budget shortfall if this situation persists. It affects our ability to receive the matching fund from the MCC Compact, which would impede on the World Bank’s ability to work with the Liberian government and secure private financing to pave the 215 kilometers road from Ganta to Zwedru as well as the 10km road from Zwedru to Toe Town.”As a way forward, the Acting Finance Minister, at the time, argued that the levels and sources of the road user charges were subject to legislative approval because the Legislature passed the law establishing the National Road Fund on December 12, 2016; and among other things, the law authorized the IMSC to raise money for the fund through road user charges.“It was our assumption that the negotiations and hearings of the budget process between the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Joint Finance, Ways, and Means Committee of the Legislature in determining US$30 million as contribution from the Road Fund to the National Budget satisfied the requirement of the law regarding approval from the Legislature,” Minister Attah wrote.“In view of the above, I am writing to request communication to the following effect: that the leadership recognizes the Ministry of Finance as the IMSC member which shall consult with the leadership of the Legislature. That the budget negotiation process will satisfy the condition of consultation with and approval from the National Legislature and that the Joint Ways, Means, and Finance Committee in setting and agreeing on projections from the Road Fund to the National Budget would convey the Legislature’s approval. This action would allow us to remove the stay order and make the National Road Fund functional and viable.”Furthermore, for his part, Gyude Moore, then Public Works Minister,  also wrote the House of Representatives, saying the IMSC had agreed that of the US$0.50 previously collected as storage fee by the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), US$0.25 was set aside as a “road user charge.”Besides Srimex Oil & Gas, Aminata had also challenged the US$0.25 charge from every gallon to support the National Budget.“I am therefore requesting a communication from you [then Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay] acknowledging that there was a procedural lapse, that the IMSC should have formally sought approval for the US$0.25 levy and that nevertheless, this action was anticipated and accounted for in the budgeting process. Any future levy, increase or decrease in the existing levy will have to be formally approved before going into effect,” said Minister Moore.“This would resolve the legal question around the fund and make it functional. It will also allow us to complete our negotiation with the World Bank for the private sector to invest up to US$200 million in our road sector and bring much-needed relief to our people. It will also allow the MCC to match our road fund up to US$15 million as part of the compact.”ImpeachmentEarlier, members of the House of Representative on Tuesday, July 10, threatened to draw-out an impeachment bill against Supreme Court Justice Kabineh Ja’neh if the Government of Liberia loses the Road Fund Case.Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon Seboe indicated that losing the Road Fund Case means the country will not benefit through the Budget and the MCC.It may be recalled Montserrado County District #8 Representative Acarous Moses Gray said  his colleagues in the 54th Legislature are soliciting signatures for an impeachment bill against Supreme Court Justice Kabineh Ja’neh. Rep. Gray is a staunch member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).LACC Not A Political InstitutionAlso during the interview, Representative Gray cautioned the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to remain apolitical and professional. He promised that officials of the Executive and Legislature will make asset declaration before the deadline.UP Reacts To Impeachment NewsMeanwhile, the  Unity Party (UP) has reacted to news that some members of the House of Representatives are preparing an impeachment bill against Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh.“The Unity Party is very seriously troubled by calls emanating from within the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) for the impeachment and subsequent removal of Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh. In his statement on Okay FM calling for the impeachment of Associate Justice Ja’neh, CDC Representative Acarous M. Gray did not give or suggest any reason(s) but would rather vaguely told the journalist that the call for impeachment is based on integrity issues,” UP said through its National Assistant Secretary General for Press, Publicity and Outreach, Mohammed Ali.Ali and the UP blame President George Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor of also being behind the plot; adding: “If this impeachment and removal were to ever be done, it will put the entire Supreme Court Bench at the mercy of the Executive and will mean a total collapse of our democracy as the independence of the Judiciary will be inevitably compromised. This will be at the taste and satisfaction of the President.”“Second, the call is made because Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh was the only one on the Supreme Court Bench that voted for the nullification of the October 10, 2017 Presidential Election,” Ali also emphasized.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Women’s Centre a Story of Triumph – Minister Grange

first_img The Minister’s remarks were delivered by Executive Director of the WCJF, Dr. Zoe Simpson, during a recent ceremony at the entity’s Trafalgar Road headquarters in St. Andrew to hand over 10 copies of a book titled ‘Triumphs’ to the girls. Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the programme of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) is a story of “triumph”, enabling girls who drop out of school on account of pregnancy to continue their education.“Through the work of the WCJF, over 47,000 adolescent mothers have triumphed over their circumstances,” she said.The Minister’s remarks were delivered by Executive Director of the WCJF, Dr. Zoe Simpson, during a recent ceremony at the entity’s Trafalgar Road headquarters in St. Andrew to hand over 10 copies of a book titled ‘Triumphs’ to the girls.The book, written by journalist Garfield Angus, is a gift from law firm Lex Caribbean Jamaica. It is a collection of short stories about personal struggles and victories.Minister Grange said she is happy for the donation at a time when the Centre celebrates its 40th anniversary. The WCJF was established in 1978 as a response to the high rate of adolescent pregnancies in Jamaica.Dr. Simpson, in her own remarks, said that the inspirational stories contained in the book will help to foster a spirit of resilience and motivate the reader to push on to success.“The adolescent mothers are faced with challenges of their own. I am, therefore, delighted that the girls will be able to benefit from the publication that will motivate them to overcome their challenges,” she noted.She added that the stories are positive reminders that “just like Martin in the ‘Hard Road to Success’, Jamaicans do not succumb to adverse situations, but, instead, just like Antoinette in ‘Life without Dependency’, we work hard and remain determined to live out our dreams”.Dr. Simpson thanked the author of the book and Lex Caribbean for making the donation possible.“We all need inspiration in our lives to help us understand and maximise our full potential,” she said. “Through the work of the WCJF, over 47,000 adolescent mothers have triumphed over their circumstances,” she said. Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the programme of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) is a story of “triumph”, enabling girls who drop out of school on account of pregnancy to continue their education. Story Highlightslast_img read more

New film Iqaluit takes viewers on journey to Nunavuts capital

first_imgDanielle Rochette APTN National NewsA film titled “Iqaluit” was released in Montréal this week.Director Benoit Pilon takes viewers on an excursion to the capital of Nunavut.Pilon’s film offers a glimpse into the lives of people living in the north.drochette@aptn.calast_img

Playboy Martha Stewart Living Report Revenue Net Losses for 2010

first_imgPlayboy Enterprises and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia suffered losses in 2010, due to the still struggling economy and a changing media landscape.Playboy says print/digital revenue fell 21.5 percent to $82.8 million in 2010. The domestic magazines generated $37.3 million, (down 32 percent from $55 million in 2009), while digital revenue fell 9.4 percent to $33.9 million. For the fourth quarter the company reported a net loss of $14.7 million, or 43 cents per share, in 2010. According to the company’s earning statement, the fourth quarter results include a $12.5 million charge from a 2010 legal settlement. Playboy magazine’s revenues were down 36 percent from 2009’s fourth quarter, coming in at $10 million. This included losses from a planned rate reduction and the production of three issues in 2010’s last quarter, as opposed to four issues released in 2009’s last time quarter. While Playboy says it saw higher revenue from mobile licenses, overall digital revenue fell in the fourth quarter due to lower pay site and advertising sales. This may be Playboy’s last public report, if the deal with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s Icon Acquisitions Holdings L.P. goes through as planned by the end of 2011’s first quarter. Hefner offered $6.15 a share through Icon Acquisitions.Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s fourth quarter revenue fell from 2009, sinking from $87.6 million in 2009 to $72.9 million at the end of 2010. The overall revenue from 2010 was $230.8 million, down 5.7 percent from 2009’s reported $244.8 million. Fourth quarter 2010 revenues were impacted by the end of relationships with Kmart and Turbo Chef earlier in the 2010 year that had added millions in revenue to 2009’s final quarter.Publishing revenue for full-year 2010 was $145.6 million, down from $146.1 million in 2009. Martha Stewart Living reported a net loss of $9.6 million in 201, compared to a net loss of $14.6 million in 2009. Both companies implemented strategies in 2010 in an attempt to improve earnings.Playboy is currently transitioning to “a brand management company,” says CEO Scott Flanders. Plans include outsourcing sections of Playboy’s publishing and licensing businesses, continuous efforts to reduce overhead as well as purchasing two Playboy venues in addition to the two clubs opened in 2010.Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia released several digital apps and offerings in 2010, as well as striking up partnerships with the Hallmark Channel and Home Depot.last_img read more

Read FIVE Books Win FREE Orioles Tickets

first_imgFrom now until April 1, The Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Baltimore Orioles are sponsoring the Tom Clancy Reading Club. Children from birth through fifth grade can register any Pratt Library location in Baltimore. For more information on the Tom Clancy Reading Club, visit www.prattlibary.org.last_img

Petrol and diesel should be slashed by Rs 10 at least CM

first_imgDarjeeling: The Centre on Thursday announced a Rs 2.50 per litre cut in petrol and diesel prices by reducing excise duty and asking PSU oil firms to take a hit of Rs 9,000 crore, a step that was matched by BJP-ruled states by slashing VAT to double the reduction in retail rates.The price cuts would be effective from Thursday midnight.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while dubbing the Centre’s move an ‘eyewash’, strongly turned down Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s appeal to the states to match the Centre’s Rs 2.50 reduction of fuel prices by reducing VAT. She insisted that the Centre should first roll back the Rs 10 cess they had imposed on fuel prices recently. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”Even before you told us we had reduced the fuel prices on our own. What about the Rs 10 cess that has been imposed? First roll back that amount immediately, and then we will talk. You can control BJP-run states but not us. You don’t even give money to non-BJP states,” Banerjee said in Siliguri on Thursday.The Chief Minister questioned why fuel prices were skyrocketing despite the price of oil decreasing in the international market. “The price of essential commodities is increasing because of this. The rupee is being devalued. The price of LPG has increased manifold as well. The economy is in shambles,” thundered Banerjee. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe Chief Minister is on a two-day visit to North Bengal. On Thursday she attended the “Milan Samaroho” of the Paschim Bangal Hindi Bhasi Parishad in Siliguri, followed by an award ceremony of the Siliguri Journalists Club.Addressing the gathering of Hindi speaking people at Uttar Banga Marwari Bhawan on Sevok Road, Siliguri, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made it clear that she had not come to ask for votes. Without naming any political outfit, the Chief Minister stated that everyone is aware of the party that fomented trouble in Darjeeling. “Your business suffered owing to the trouble in Darjeeling. You have to remember that if there is peace then only there can be prosperity,” stated Banerjee. The Chief Minister added that all communities are safe in Bengal and coexist harmoniously. “Bengal does not indulge in divisive politics. You all know that. You stay here because you are safe and your families and businesses are secure in Bengal,” she added.Later while attending the Siliguri Journalists Club event at the Uttarkanya Auditorium, the Chief Minister gave a clarion call for journalists to unite. “You all have to unite for your security, job security and security of your families,” Banerjee said.last_img read more

Recap Two lanes shut due to accident on M6 in Staffordshire

first_imgUPDATE: All lanes have now reopened Two lanes are closed on the M6 motorway in Staffordshire due to a collision this afternoon (Wednesday March 20). Inrix, the traffic data company, reports the collision has taken place on the northbound carriageway between  J12 A5 (Gailey) and J13 A449 (Stafford South). Lanes one and two are reported to be shut and traffic is queueing. The accident, which was first reported at around 3.15pm, is understood to involve a car and a lorry. The ambulance service are reported to be at the scene. Highways England have confirmed they are on their way to the scene. A spokesman said:  “2 lanes (of 4) closed M6 J12 Gailey to J13 Dunston due to a collison. Traffic officers on route.” We will bring you further updates as we get them on the feed below. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive   Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page. And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive.16:08All lanes now openAll lanes have now reopened.15:59Minor injuriesThe ambulance service have confirmed they were called to the scene just after 3pm and one person is receiving treatment for minor injuries.15:27Travel time 15 minutesTraffic data company Inrix reports 15 minute delays against expected travel time.15:26Ambulance at sceneInrix, the traffic data company, reports paramedics are at the scene. Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Police search for missing womancenter_img Driver named following fatal collision Punter found hiding in bushes last_img read more